I just returned home from an amazing two week trip to Alaska (and Canada!). Over the next few weeks I’m going to share my experiences in planning and enjoying the Alaska vacation. Before my trip I read a lot of forums and blog posts about what other people bought and what they actually used so I wanted to share my experience for any future travelers planning to go on an Alaskan cruise.
Today’s post only includes items I specifically bought for the trip based on all my reading and talking with friends in Alaska. I’ll post about everything I packed next but first today’s quick video shows the special items I bought before this trip:
Now that I’ve actually gone on the trip and experienced the 7 day Alaska cruise along with a Denali visit, I know what I used and what I didn’t.
Below I’m going to separate out the “winners” that I used a ton and the “losers” that I never or rarely used. This section contains some affiliate links to Amazon where I bought most of the items purchased for my Alaska vacation.
Items I Used Often:
North Face 3-In-1 Rain Jacket. I used this coat all the time. All the time!!! It was my most used piece of clothing. I wore the fleece by itself on the ship often and only wore the fleece and rain shell once, but I wore the outer rain jacket a ton. It rained the first 4 days of the trip and I was so glad I had this. It was even great on non-rain days to take on and off as I cooled down or heated up based on activity.
Columbia Anytime Outdoor Boot Cut Hiking Pants. These were a last minute purchase from Amazon the week before the trip. I realized I only had leggings and didn’t have any sort of waterproof pants if I was doing all these activities in the rain. I bought these on a gamble that they would fit and work. Let me tell you – they were worth the money spent. I already want to buy another pair. They were the most comfortable pants I brought, fit perfectly with the short size, and were water resistant. They did get wet while I was kayaking but they dried so very fast I was impressed! I’m planning to buy another pair of these for future hiking trips. This was the most clutch purchase, they looked good, felt good, and saved me from being wet and miserable several days.
Lightweight Foldable Travel Backpack. This backpack went into my suitcase folded and once it came out it was used ALL THE TIME. For $20 it was a huge steal. I loved the pink color and how many useful pockets it had to carry items. Since I wore layers I wanted a backpack to take things off or carry GoPro things. The only downside was that it wasn’t fully waterproof and got a bit soaked one day but otherwise I really loved this purchase and used it daily.
Merrell Moab Hiking Shoes. Another fantastic purchase used a lot on the trip. These were the waterproof ones and let me tell you – they are completely waterproof. I went hiking in Denali and literally walked through streams and mud and my feet never got wet. These do get a bit warm on days where the temperature is higher…. they aren’t breathable at all. But they were comfortable and waterproof and great for the outdoorsy activities we did.
Alaska Knit Socks. My mom actually bought me most of these along with a few pairs I purchased. I wore the lighter ones when I wore my tennis shoes which worked well and the midweight ones were fantastic with my hiking shoes. They kept my feet warm and comfortable even on the days when we walked 10-15 miles. I didn’t use the lightweight long socks at all. I will say, bring lots of socks! I went through a ton and I think the greatest feeling in the world is changing socks after a super long hike.
GoPro Accessories. I had my GoPro on my backpack for most of the trip because I always had my backpack on. The GoPro Backpack clip was convenient and easy to use in that position. Well worth the $8. I carried all the other accessories I might use each day in the Amazon basics GoPro case I bought. Having an extra memory card came in very handy as well, so all these things were well used. I also bought a huge bag of random accessories that didn’t arrive by the time I made the video but I used several items from it during the trip.
Target Champion Sports Bra. Buying more of these ASAP because it came in very handy. I brought all my workout clothes on this trip and went through all of them. Sports bras were the first to deplete which means I probably need more, right?
Vera Bradley Fleece travel blanket + pillow combo. I used this a lot while traveling. It was fantastic on the planes and in the airport. It also came in handy on the car ride to Denali. I liked that I had a pillow when I wanted but also a blanket and wasn’t stuck with one position like those neck pillows. I’m planning to use it again on future trips.
Items I Neglected:
Spi belt. I never used this on the trip because I always had my backpack with me. Between that and pockets in my clothes I really never needed anything else. I’ve used this since the trip but overall it’s not my favorite purchase for this trip. It has been great for walks and runs at home when I don’t want to carry anything.
As you can see, I used most of the things I bought! I’m really, really happy with these specific purchases made for our Alaska trip. Everything was good quality and very useful during our active, outdoorsy trip.